Guest Post & SCAVENGER HUNT with Tina Donahue TODAY!

Good morning! 

Today we are having a SCAVENGER HUNT with author Tina Donahue. The winner will have a choice from the list of five books below. To those in the continental US, Tina will mail one of the paperbacks; to those outside the continental US, she'll send an ebook.

1. Adored - ebook
2. Deep Dark Delicious - ebook
3. Close to Perfect - mass market paperback
4. Bad Boys with Red Roses - trade paperback
5. Take My Breath Away - trade paperback

Not so fast - getting to the point in an erotic romance

By Tina Donahue 

All novels need to start with a bang otherwise readers will lose interest. This is particularly critical in an erotic romance where authors deal with the characters’ sexual and emotional lives. However, if the hero and heroine ‘do the deed’ too quickly, their passion lacks feeling, depth and credibility. Wait too long and readers won’t pick up that author’s next book. So a writer has to create a world and characters that readers will identify with readily – ones they will like - while also offering up a bit of the sexuality that will later become a major selling point of the story.

Sound difficult? It is. However, authors of erotic romances – myself included – do it all the time. I’ve found that hinting at the sexuality that’s to come, while also introducing conflict as quickly as possible serves to keep the reader interested while also delaying the explicit carnal parts until the time is right.

To illustrate what I mean, here a blurb (for background) and an excerpt from my latest erotic romance Lush Velvet Nights.


Lush Velvet Nights - When wanton desires & love demand all…

During the day, Adriana’s a lonely corporate heiress, helming a supermarket empire. At night, she hires escorts, scripting provocative fantasies of kidnapping, lust, submission and endless longing. It’s all she has to excite her until she meets Nathan Wynn. Tall, blond and muscular—like a modern-day Viking—Nathan’s a labor relations attorney representing Adriana’s union employees. His imposing presence intensifies her basest desires. When he protects her from an escort he believes is an attacker, she knows he’s wonderfully dominant and unrestrained. Fascinated by Adriana’s underlying sensuality, Nathan brings her to his secluded mountain estate, determined she submit fully to his hunger. At a gentleman’s club, he makes certain she denies him nothing. Engaging in a seductive sexual journey, Nathan’s caught off-guard by his stunning need for Adriana. An attraction he fears because of past events in his life. A growing emotional connection she will not let him deny.

EXCERPT: (this is the opening scene of the novel)

Beneath Adriana Greco’s conservative business suit, her upper thighs and buttocks were naked, prepared for what would happen once her meeting ended. Somewhere outside the doors of this office, her kidnapper waited. A man she’d never met, one who’d take control, bending her to his will, stripping her bare, keeping her his sexual slave for the three-day weekend ahead. A fantasy she’d arranged with the escort agency known only by the letter S. Not for the first time she wondered what the S represented—Submission, Seduction, Sex—or all three.

Her pulse quickened and her mouth went dry. She didn’t dare leave the conference table to get another bottle of water. Her legs trembled so badly, Adriana wasn’t certain they would support her. Even if she did make it to the refreshment table, the others in this meeting might notice her lingering at Nathan Wynn’s side. How could she resist? He provided a more pressing temptation than her scripted fantasies with men she hired.

Early thirties and definitely in his prime, Nathan stood near the credenza by the snacks, glancing at the Los Angeles skyline. In the January rain, a more common occurrence than tourists thought, the sparkling city lights seemed to wiggle, providing a kaleidoscope of shifting colors bleeding into the darkness.

Nathan’s rugged good looks gave away none of his thoughts. As a successful labor relations attorney negotiating the new contract for Adriana’s union employees, he’d controlled today’s bargaining so effortlessly. Now he met her company’s newest proposal with silence, using the lull to strike uncertainty, to intimidate.

Adriana’s attention trickled down his large frame. Her heart beat at an uncomfortable pace. Hours earlier, he’d removed his navy suit jacket and rolled his shirt sleeves to mid-forearm despite the room’s slight chill. At the time she’d inhaled deeply, wanting to draw in his scent, a masculine fragrance reminding her of a morning breeze in Greece…the air warmed by the sun, moistened by the sea. His shoulders were impossibly broad, straining his shirt’s expensive cotton fabric as he filled his coffee cup, a prelude to giving the meeting’s participants his decision.

Fascinated, Adriana watched his muscles flexing with his movements. The flesh on her inner thighs grew moist. Light brown hair dusted his forearms, a contrast to his dark blond locks. Unlike other attorneys of his stature and wealth, he wore his hair as carelessly as a manual laborer, longish in the back and on the top, allowing it to skim his ears and forehead.
Suppressing a shiver, Adriana imagined his hair hanging to his shoulders like a Viking, the strands tangled from the ocean’s stiff wind, his powerful body clothed in fur and leather, his dark brown eyes intent, ruthless, lusting as he and his crew left their ship in search of plunder and women. Reaching her, he would grip her arm, precluding any escape. No screams, no pleas would stop him from taking what belonged to him. Inside her crude hut, where she’d been born and nurtured by parents who had long since passed, his sinewy body would imprison hers on the animal skins serving as a maiden’s bed. Not any longer. From this moment forward, she’d never know another night or another day without his dominating touch. Mouth over hers with his tongue plunging inside, he’d shove her homespun dress to her waist, baring her sex. Shamelessly, possessively, his long fingers would probe her c^nt, seeking her hot channel. Once inside, he’d pierce her barrier and stretch her virginal flesh, preparing it for his cock. Her wait wouldn’t be long. He’d sink deep into her with one forceful thrust, his weighty testicles slapping her buttocks as he pumped unrelentingly, enslaving her to his body and the carnal future he intended for her.

A nagging pressure built in Adriana’s groin. In response, moisture seeped from her pussy.
Without warning, Nathan’s eyes lifted from his coffee to her. His studied indifference wavered.
Adriana’s lips parted at the chink in his armor, the surprising vulnerability she detected in his penetrating gaze. What caused such a thing? Had she spoken without realizing it or sighed too loudly?

His attention remained on her. Heat flared in his dark eyes.
A shiver of pleasure ran down Adriana’s spine. The rest of her froze in confusion. In all the days they’d spent holed up in this room, Nathan never looked at her as anything other than his adversary. She owned Greco, Inc., a prominent supermarket chain inherited from her father, an unhappy man who’d rarely noticed her at all. The only men who gave her their time and full attention were the ones she hired.

Self-consciously, she touched the edge of her half-rim reading glasses, adjusting them.
A smile lifted the corners of Nathan’s demanding mouth. Adriana tried to pull in a full breath and could not. She stared at his inviting lips. Seconds slipped by. Her heart pounded in time with the slanting rain striking the windows. It sounded like crinkling cellophane.

Steve Boyle, her company’s attorney and one of her best friends, tapped her wrist with his pencil. Eyes still on Nathan, she leaned over to Steve.

Nathan’s assistant Meghan strolled to the window, pretending to read her notes, giving Adriana and Steve a bit of privacy. Adriana stared at the lovely twenty-something girl, guessing Meghan probably slept with Nathan on a regular basis.
Steve brought his face close to Adriana’s ear. His shaggy mustache tickled her cheek. “What gives?” he whispered.

Her attention strayed to Nathan’s eyes. They hadn’t moved from her. Her c^nt ached. She whispered, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Yeah, I know. You’re not paying attention. Wynn asked you a question several minutes ago. So, what gives? Is your bun too tight? Did it cut off circulation to your brain?”

Uncomfortable warmth spread from Adriana’s chest to her neck and cheeks. She averted her gaze from Nathan and flicked it at Steve. Although he was thirty, the same as her, his rapidly balding head made him look much older. To compensate for the hair loss on top, he’d grown one of the biggest mustaches she’d ever seen outside of those on men of Middle Eastern ancestry. Her voice lowered another notch. “Be nice, or I swear I’ll tell everyone here you use Rogaine on that thing on your upper lip.”

Unfazed by her retort, and certainly not deterred, Steve’s hazel eyes twinkled with mischief. “Better answer Wynn or he may think you were staring at him because you think he’s hot.”
Adriana’s blush reached the tips of her ears and prickled her scalp. “What did he ask?”
“If you want to sleep with him.”

Her heart lurched. Blood drained from her face so quickly the room spun.
Steve noticed. His hand squeezed hers. “Hey, relax. I was joking.” His eyes narrowed with his scrutiny. “You okay?”

Not even close. She lied with a nod and repeated, “What did he ask?”
“If we’d be willing to extend our current healthcare benefits for another year, then modify them to what we want. In exchange, the union’s willing to immediately reduce their number of paid holidays.”

Even with her dizziness, Adriana knew it wasn’t a fair exchange and would cost her company several million dollars in this shitty economy. Of course, a strike could nudge them toward bankruptcy like so many other California businesses. No wonder a smile had interrupted Nathan’s controlled demeanor. He deserved his reputation for grinding adversaries under his heel, giving her very little wiggle room, just like in her Viking fantasy, with far less pleasant results.

If she agreed to his demand, she’d prove her father right—she wasn’t the child he’d wanted—a fearless, brutal, driven executive who didn’t take shit from anyone, not even the unions. If she didn’t agree, she’d force Nathan to return. She’d hunger over him for a few more days before she ultimately surrendered to his stipulations and the knowledge he’d never desire her. The heat she’d seen in his eyes represented a male’s reaction to a fight he knew he’d win. Would he celebrate his victory tonight with Meghan? Would he imprison her beneath his nudity? Was she his type? Did he have a type?

Heart sinking, Adriana didn’t bother to look at the girl or him. She didn’t want to know about Nathan Wynn’s private life. Nor would he ever know about hers and the paid escorts she used, including the kidnapper who surely stalked the hallways outside this office, waiting for her to emerge.

“Fine,” she said in answer to Nathan, groaning inwardly at the catch in her voice. She cleared her throat, left her seat and spoke to Steve. “Wind things up, will you?” Deliberately stepping around the table to avoid any contact with Nathan, Adriana stopped at the door and glanced back. Nathan regarded her ass and legs for a long moment. At last, he lifted his head. Several strands of hair bobbed over his surprisingly dark brows. His smile returned.
Her knees weakened. She locked them, overwhelmed by an insane urge to run her fingers through his hair, mussing it further as she drove her tongue into his mouth. Reality kept her rooted to her current spot. His smile had nothing to do with her as a woman. It recorded another of his conquests. She’d never stood a chance against his legal prowess, neither had Steve, and Nathan knew it. Adriana’s fingers gripped the doorknob. Unfortunately, her voice rang with longing. “Have a nice weekend. You earned it.”

Nathan’s brows lifted ever so slightly. “Should I take that as a compliment?”
His vibrant baritone matched his masculine bulk and enriched the sterilely decorated room, conjuring images of animal skins and leather, shoulder-length hair and a man’s uncivilized, insatiable appetite.
Without meaning to, she smiled. “You should.”
“Then I will, Adriana.”
A muscle in her belly jumped at how her name sounded wrapped in his resonant voice. Her hand loosened around the knob, not yet ready to open the door.
Steve cleared his throat. Impatiently, or perhaps jealously, Meghan tapped her pen against her legal pad.
 She is sleeping with him. Fighting an envious sigh, Adriana opened the door. “Thanks for coming.”

Steve’s head jerked up. He seemed uncertain whether to snicker or frown. “We appreciate you getting through this so quickly,” he amended.

Adriana nodded to indicate that’s what she’d meant to say. Nathan ignored Steve and kept his full attention her. Why? What did he want now? “I have to go,” she said. Not waiting for his comment or goodbye, she hurried to her office.

There, she sagged against the door, trying to catch her breath. Should her kidnapper excite her even a sixteenth as much as Nathan did, she’d be in for the f^ck of her life. However, if she found him wanting…

No, she wouldn’t consider such a thing. She’d enjoy the next three days if it killed her.

In this excerpt, we learn the conflict of Adriana wanting Nathan and feeling she can’t have him. We also see the sexual interest flaring between them…an interest that builds and smolders throughout the next pages until the time is right for these two to melt into each others arms. 

Lush Velvet Nights is available from Ellora’s Cave

Buy link: Ellora's Cave

Website/blog/YouTube video trailer for Lush Velvet Nights:

THE RULES WILL BE POSTED BY TINA DONAHUE IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW. All I ask is that you follow this blog -- and state that you do -- when you email Tina with your SCAVENGER HUNT answers. 
Thank you.

Questions will be posted here throughout the day, so keep coming back to check!

Have fun! 


MAY 2010 - Please welcome EVAN MALONEY! our Author in the Spotlight!

WIN Doug and Jackie Christie's Luv-Pons Book! - Ends 4th June 2010
Win! Teal Ceagh's Paranormal Romance! - Ends 11th May 2010
WIN!Any book from Tracy Cooper-Posey's BACKLIST! - Ends 23rd May 2010
WIN - Adelle Laudan's Ironhorse Rider Series + Surprise package!
- Ends 26th May 2010
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  1. Morning all and thanks, Sassy, for having me here today!!

    I'll hope you'll all join in my scavenger hunt.

    I'll be posting four questions here and at my site (click on scavenger hunt link on the home page) periodically throughout the day. (Answers found on my site).

    The first person to email me all four correct answers will win one of my books(details in above post).

    That's all you have to do!!

    Hope to see you here today, and please leave a comment. I get lonely! :)

  2. Good morning, Tina!

    Hope you are well!

    Thank you so much for coming here today. And for your book donation for the giveaway.

    Much appreciated!

    I have a question: When you publish a new release do you have a special treat you award to yourself? Or perhaps someone treats you to?

    Or do you do something special when you finish writing and submit your ms? Like the protagonist in King's Misery always had a cigarette!


  3. Hey, Sassy - I must confess, when I have a new release pubbed AND when I submit a new ms, I go to my local candy store and indulge my sweet tooth. Almost as good as a romantic night with my guy! :)

  4. Oh that sounds wonderful! - two well deserved treats and I think we should all buy some on your release and publish dates LOL

    I have a sweet tooth too, and can't resist Cadbury's Caramel and the American Reese's peanut butter cup cakes - Yum! Yum!

  5. Okay ladies and's my first scavenger hunt question of the day (remember, there will be three more, so save your answers until the last one is asked, then email me at

    1. In my May 10 blog, what does the caption say under the 5th picture?

  6. Hi Tina!! Just stopped by to show you a little support. Hope your having a great day! I guess you know already that I have all those books now of yours so I'm not going to participate in the hunt this time. Hope it's successful!

    Hagd Ladies, Christine

  7. Hey, Christine - thanks for stopping by - hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day!

  8. Hey, Tina

    Coming by to show the love. Have a great day!

  9. Hey Armenia - thanks for dropping by, sweetie - don't forget to play the scavenger hunt - you are sooo good at it! :)

  10. Okay, Lurkers and Ladies - here's today second scavenger hunt question:

    2. On her review of “Lush Velvet Nights” what did Bella say (the quote)?

  11. And here is scavenger hunt question #4 (only one more to go!!!)

    3. On my home page, I’m running an ad for Coffee Time Romance – what is the event the ad is promoting?

  12. Yikes - I meant scavenger hunt question #3 - not #4 - there really is one more to go!!! :)

  13. And finally Lurkers and Ladies, the last scavenger hunt question of the day (good luck!!)

    4. In “Adored” what is Danni wearing when she goes to the elevators in the Las Vegas casino/hotel?

  14. Thanks to all who participated in my scavenger hunt yesterday!

    The winner of yesterday's hunt is: Lois!!

    Congrats, Lois!! :)


Thanks for taking the time to leave a sassy comment. It's truly appreciated. I aim to get back to you as soon as possible -- Sassy :)